Venezuelan Migrants Fall Prey to Sex Traffickers After Fleeing Their Collapsing Country

By John Otis | Photographs by Johanna Alarcón for The Wall Street Journal

While sex trafficking is a global problem, human-rights advocates say it has become especially acute in recent years among migrants who have fled dictatorship and the economic crisis in Venezuela. Government officials and rights groups in the Andean region say the traffickers exploit the exodus of nearly six million people from Venezuela—the world’s largest continuing refugee crisis, in number of migrants fleeing, after Syria—by coercing some into sexual bondage with bogus job offers.


GUNVOR IN ECUADOR Die schmutzigen Hände des Ölhändlers

Gunvor in Ecuador

Wie Gunvor das Amazonasgebiet geplündert hat


This week we are featuring the work of Ecuadorian Photographers. Ecuador straddles part of the Andes Mountains and occupies part of the Amazon basin. Situated on the Equator, from which its name derives, it borders Colombia to the north, Peru to the east and the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. We start this week with Johis Alarcón.

Women Photograph: 2021 Year in Pictures

Curated by Tanvi Mishra

The Women Photograph Year in Pictures showcases 100 images from 100 of our 1,300+ members across the globe, highlighting assignment work, long term documentary projects, and personal stories from the past year.

Photo editor and curator Tanvi Mishra


"Ecuador's flower industry shifts toward hemp as rose sales wither" Photo gallery, July 2021.

Diners Magazine

A ti vuelvo
Photo gallery, July 2021.


"Ecuador says at last 22 inmates die in two prison riots", July 2021.

The Guardian:

"Ecuador community education during the Covid pandemic" Photo gallery, May 2021.

Vist Projects

"Ghetto dreamers, apostando a la vidaGhetto dreamers, apostando a la vida" April, 2021.

The New York Times: Conservative Ex-Banker Headed to Victory in Presidential Election in Ecuador

"Conservative Ex-Banker Headed to Victory in Presidential Election in Ecuador " April 2021.

The New York Times

"Ecuador's Presidential Election Is a Referendum on the Past" April, 2021


"Ecuador Bonds Plunge as Pro-IMF Candidate Lags in Vote Count", February 2021.

JOIA Magazine:

"Cimarronas, la feminidad afrodescendiente de Ecuador" January, 2021

Dodho Magazine

"A ti Vuelvo", December 2020.


"Everything Belongs To Everyone: Self-Rule in an Ecuadorian Commune." November, 2020.
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Johis Alarcon Photography

Johis Alarcon is a female Ecuadorian photojournalist whose work is focused on socio-cultural humanitarian and gender issues, primarily in Latin America.
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